My first time attending the Tampa Indie Author Book Convention….

It happened.

The dreaded moment in an author’s book launch when social media was no longer pushing sales..

so i took a page out of the book I always use for my clients as their publicist and said:

you need to be out in the open and meet people in real life.

So I found some local events going on specifically for indie authors (authors are considered indie if they are published with a small press, small publishing house, or are self-published).

When I found out that there was a BOOK CONVENTION in Tampa…I was beyond excited.

I booked my spot and asked how many tickets were sold for VIP? They said 35 so I purchased 45 copies of my book to sell at the event accounting for 10 extra in case there was a higher demand, a huge rush of people, or I could utilize them for giveaways and promotional opportunities (I leave my book in random public places with a business card.)

I got there and was a little disappointed right away because they put me in the back of the room.

And the room was like a little bigger than a sardine can with all the authors inside of it.

The photographer hired for the event took our photo as a group outside the venue and we went in to begin the event.

Yet, the crowd never came.

People came but they were either there to support their favorite author or were looking for a particular genre (EROTICA had a big turn out but that’s no surprise) I made a joke to my mom about that and how my poetry collection contains a poem entitled Asexual Poem which is written to share my own personal sexuality and also help other aces feel safe. There is a stanza about nipple tassels though so I’m just saying my book does contain erotica if that’s your thing…

Other popular genres were fantasy and historical fiction. Poetry was not popular.

But I still loved being there. Among other writers. Seeing the entire experience from two perspectives. One as a poet who two years ago resigned from a job that made her sick in every sense of the word and who loved a young man so much she showed up every day just to find a reason to make him smile. Yet, a week prior to the event on June 5, I almost didn’t make it because of the near-fatal accident I was involved in on May 29.

My mom even got a badge that said she was my personal assistant…she’s the best there is.
They moved me to the front of the door. Basically, I was really stoked that I would be the first face that people saw when they came into the event.
I ended up next to a really cool author named Eleanor Tremayne. She writes award-winning books of various themes and one book she wrote actually features mermaids so of course I had to get a copy.

I even got a mermaid pen with my purchase so I knew I had to get it. I haven’t read it yet but when I do, you know I will be sharing my review via The Smart Cookie Philes.

She was basically a pro at telling people about her books. And she was really nice. You can find out more about Eleanor on her website here:
Her PA aka her husband was really cool. And very friendly. I enjoyed being moved to the spot next to them because I felt like it was divine intervention almost since they made me feel comfortable and her husband even bought a copy of my book.
Here’s me observing everyone and wishing someone would think mental health poetry is cool, and come ask me about it.
Always showing the world my dimples and having fun.
My favorite picture of me from the event.

In a nutshell, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the event because little did anyone know but the last time I wore that pink blazer was when I interviewed for that job…and actually I used to go down the street from the venue each month and attend FRVA meetings on behalf of the employer unpaid. So doing something like this, and being in the front of the room next to some very nice and cool pros at book signings, I felt entirely blessed and like God did a huge full circle moment in my life.

As a publicist, I definitely think more could have been done to promote the event, get people interested, or even get the local paper or news to cover it. Next year, they should hire me to do all the local marketing for the event because I totally would, and you would see crowds of people. Although, my hype man aka my dad was sick but his chatty nature would have definitely gotten many people to witness the selling of sticks and stones and formaldehyde perfume.

Here’s to growing and learning as an adult author (the market sure has changed since I was a teen) and to hopefully doing more local events once I get the new version of Sticks and Stones out to the world.

Shoutout to Eleanor Tremayne, her sweet husband, and Dante Dellamore for these amazing photos.

For more about the Tampa Indie Author Convention or Anytime Author Promotions, check out

I actually have an Etsy Shop now. Feel free to check out all the cool merchandise there. You can get my books, poetry related merch (coming soon), Cookies For a Cause designs, and Squad Merch all in one place.

Lastly, if you or someone you know has run into an error voting for my book in the book of the year contest hosted by, you can report your errors or technical issues to Scott directly at

I say this as nicely as I can but the guy in charge really does not want me emailing on your behalf that you ran into a technical glitch. He’s gotten snarky with me several times via email recently. See below.

That’s all for now everyone.

Until next time, just keep swimming!

Chelsea xoxo

One thought on “My first time attending the Tampa Indie Author Book Convention….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s